MoIT convenes urgent meeting to prevent goods shortage, price surge hinh anh 1Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh speaks at an urgent meeting with relevant agencies to discuss measures to respond to COVID-19 epidemic (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has asked the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade to keep a close watch on market developments, inspect and create favourable conditions for distributors to ensure sufficient supply of goods.

On March 7, the minister convened an urgent meeting with relevant agencies to evaluate the market situation and seeking measures to ensure the supply of necessities.

Abundant goods stocks

At the meeting, Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade reported that right after the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in early February and one infected case was discovered in Hanoi, people rushed to buy necessities and face masks or hand sanitiser for stockpile.

In response, the Department of Industry and Trade asked distributor networks to increase the stocks of goods to timely respond to fluctuations on the market.

Specifically, from the night of March 6 and early March 7, the amount of goods stocks at businesses rose by 4-5 times compared to normal days, and even by 40 times in Vinmart system. At the same time, suppliers also designed plans to distribute goods from provinces to their stores in Hanoi.

The Coopmart supermarket chain increased its stocks in Hanoi and Bac Ninh by 30 percent and get all staff on duty to serve customers.

In BigC supermarket system, the volume of goods rose 30-40 percent.

MoIT convenes urgent meeting to prevent goods shortage, price surge hinh anh 2People shop for necessities (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Nguyen Thi Phuong, Deputy General Director of Central Group Vietnam said that since the epidemic occurred, the group has prepared a large amount of goods, especially rice and necessities with rise of 300-400 percent.

However, due to common psychology of people after hearing about the first infected case in Hanoi, the number of shoppers surged strongly compared to normal days thus affecting the supply efficiency at some points.

“We have mobilised all domestic suppliers and imported 15 tonnes of pork, so there is no big problem regarding the supply of goods,” said Phuong.

Saigon Coop has stocked up over 500 billion VND worth of goods in its three warehouses since the beginning of the epidemic. The supermarket chain’s representative has affirmed that the company will not raise prices in the whole system.

[MoIT assures sufficient supplies of essential goods for domestic market]

From the night of March 6 when there was news on the first infection in Hanoi, Saigon Coop immediately instructed the transport of over 100 billion VND worth of goods during the night to outlets in Hanoi, with goods coming from its southern and western distribution centres, vegetables from Da Lat and meat from Visan to supply to the city, said the representative.

Preventing goods shortage in any situation

In response to the epidemic, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has built a plan to stockpile goods at four levels of the epidemic, focusing on level 3 and 4 to ensure there are sufficient goods to supply for locals and isolated areas in the city.

Lan said that the level 3 is when there are 20 infection cases, while the level 4 occurs when the number rises to 1,000. The department has planned to ensure supply for 5,000 when there are 1,000 infected people in quarantine.

MoIT convenes urgent meeting to prevent goods shortage, price surge hinh anh 3Minister Anh asked distributors to work with suppliers to ensure supply sources and goods quality (Photo: VietnamPlus)

At the same time, leaders of the department have directed its Industry Management Section to work with face mask and sanitiser manufacturers to ensure supply. Producers and suppliers have been asked to team up with localities to get ready to transport goods to Hanoi when demand surges and in urgent cases.

Recently the department has asked the city’s Department of Market Management to increase inspection and control over the market to stop the stocking of goods and price manipulation.

“In any situation, Hanoi distribution system can meet people’s demand even when demand surges and will not let shortage happen,” stated Lan.

Lan proposed that media agencies intensify communication to calm the community and advise them not to stock up on goods while increasing online shopping to prevent gathering. 

At the meeting, Minister Anh requested the Department of Domestic Market to work with localities to design plans and scenarios in response to the epidemic developments, and reviewing responding measures of enterprises in the supply systems and chains, thus rolling out proactive plans to ensure supply not only in Hanoi but the whole nation.

He reminded the Department of Domestic Market and the General Administration of Market Management to increase inspection to prevent stockpiling goods for price raising, adding that the quality of goods must be ensured in all circumstances, especially food safety.

Regarding production, the minister affirmed that material supply for production is abundant, thus the shortage of goods and increase of price will not happen. Therefore, it is necessary to fully share information between the Government and ministries, sectors and localities in a timely and transparent manner, he added.

He also asked the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade to keep a close eye on the market development and create optimal conditions for distributing companies to increase goods supply and work with suppliers to ensure supply sources and quality of goods./.

VNA